The Associates for Biblical Research is known for archaeological fieldwork and painstaking biblical research. The work produced by ABR is widely used by Bible students, archaeologists, professors and teachers, some of whom believe the Bible to be the Word of God and some who do not. The one thing everyone can count on from ABR is extensive and careful analysis of scientific and biblical evidence. This commitment to detailed scholarship is coupled with an equally important commitment to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God. Indeed, ABR is devoted to upholding the reliability of the Bible and to communicating the evidence that affirms the historical accounts of Scripture. As we look to the future, ABR will continue its commitment to these all-important objectives.
ABR is also committed to aggressively promoting the authority of the Bible. The Bible is increasingly under attack in a culture immersed in skepticism and cynicism. The witness of Christians becomes almost hollow in the minds of many non-Christian people as they hear believers share their testimonies. For many, the presentation of the Gospel is no different than hearing someone say they believe in the historical reality of fairy tales. No matter how passionately we may tell someone what Christ has done for us, it falls upon deaf ears because so many people simply do not believe that the accounts of Christ's life in the Bible are true, let alone the accounts in Genesis and the rest of the Old Testament. How can they believe our message of the saving work of Christ, if they do not believe the scriptural record of what Christ has done? The Bible has been under attack in every period of history since the days of the apostles, and in our day the battle continues; only the weapons are different. Today's attacks use the so-called 'assured conclusions of science' to portray the biblical accounts as factually incorrect and as an unreliable source of scientific and historical information. These attacks are aimed squarely at the authority of the Bible. We must, and we will, respond to these arguments.
The ABR Staff: Michelle Santiago, Rick Lanser, Bryant Wood, Henry Smith, Gordon Franz, Scott Lanser.
It is imperative for us to engage the Christian universities and colleges, pastors and church leaders and forcefully argue for biblical authority. Those whom God has entrusted to teach our young people the truth of the Word of God MUST renew their commitment to the absolute authority of Scripture. How dreadful it will be on the Day of Judgment for anyone standing in a position of Christian leadership who has led young people to stumble, teaching them that the Bible cannot be trusted. We will all stand before the Lord one day and give an account of our lives, and we want to be on the Lord's side when it comes to this issue. ABR is committed to speaking the word of correction and rebuke to those who teach under the banner of Christ and the apostles, but who openly mislead the people of God. More than ever, ABR wants to challenge Christian leaders, pastors and teachers to prepare themselves adequately to answer the great questions of our day and to support the authority of Scripture.
We are living in a day when wild and unsubstantiated ideas are put forth as facts. One can run down a litany of such ideas, from the insinuations found in The Da Vinci Code to the bizarre assertions concerning the so-called Jesus Family Tomb. Even more troubling and difficult for the Church to respond to is the speed in which these ideas are spread via the Internet and popular media. It is incumbent upon us to not only respond with strong and clear arguments, but with speed and creativity to disseminate accurate information to the Church and the culture at large.
We will also respond to those who, claiming authority as amateur archaeologists, have foisted upon people bogus and unsubstantiated claims. Sadly, these individuals are often professing Christians who make false claims and draw false inferences to promote their dubious ideas. Christians who wish to speak in the rarified world of archaeology must possess the adequate training and skill required to interpret the artifacts and material culture they uncover. Archaeology is a scientific endeavor and must be practiced with scientific rigor, not in the spirit of Indiana Jones or as a quest marked by wild speculation in identifying relics as proofs of the Bible. The great tragedy in all of this is that the very goal such treasure-hunters have, to show support for the Bible, ends up doing the complete opposite and undermines the credibility of valid archaeological work and the proper interpretation of what is discovered. Indeed, believers end up in a much worse position in seeking to use archaeology as a support to the Word of God, since unbelievers are given cause to scoff at such unscientific and 'mystical' approaches to the science of archaeology. In contrast, ABR is involved in valid archaeological endeavors, and will continue to operate with the highest level of integrity and with complete devotion to the Word of God.
ABR has a rich history of teaching and presenting the results of our cutting-edge research that illumines the Scriptures and enlightens the Church of Jesus Christ. In the months and years ahead, ABR will expand its teaching ministries by more aggressively taking on the distortions of the Bible by secularist archaeologists. We will show the philosophical biases of those who hide behind a cloak of supposed objectivity and reveal their true motives, which are not to present accurate historical data but intentionally skewed data that is then used to undermine and attack the Bible. ABR will continue its efforts in performing original fieldwork and research that brings important affirmations to the biblical record.
Our overarching goal is to serve the Church of Jesus Christ by bringing practical and informative research that will answer the questions of those seeking the truth. We want to make our articles and information more suited for our general audience. We want to speak more practically to the lives of God's people.
Today, ABR stands in an important place as an apologetic ministry. As our young people continue to spiral down into the trap of post-modernism, ABR will work to help them to know that the Bible is completely reliable, and that God did indeed speak in the pages of Scripture. Students and people of all ages are looking for answers to their questions, and we are committed to providing the answers.
These are exciting days at ABR. We look forward to all that God will do through this ministry as we enter our 44th year of ministry in 2012!
Scott Lanser is Executive Director of ABR with an MA in New Testament Studies from Biblical Theological Seminary, Hatfield PA. He serves as pastor of New Hope Bible Fellowship in Lancaster PA.